It’s a dream for some of us composers to have built in bucks and an open calendar to create a new extended work. It doesn’t happen that often but that very magic scenario landed into my world back in 2018. I applied for the Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant and apparently they liked my musical samples and the next thing I knew was I clearing up my calendar and making way for some concentrated composing exploration.
A little before I wrote the grant proposal, our recording “Samba Andaluza” was nominated for Best Jazz Recording in the 2018 San Diego Music Awards. It’s a unique group featuring Bridget Dolkas on violin, Lars Hoefs on cello, Duncan Moore on percussion, and me on the twin neck guitar. The sound is jazz chamber music with leanings towards the samba, flamenco, swing, and Celtic. It was for this ensemble that I fashioned the new work.
What emerged after a month of isolation was a three movement piece called “Rendezvous In Realtime.”
Back in the late 60’s Richard Alpert, also known as Ram Dass, was living his truth and documenting his findings in his book “Be Here, Now.” The title kind of says it all. My Rendezvous in Realtime takes cues from Ram Dass and attempts to take the listener on a journey from the state of mind that everything is music, past the barrier in which we are coded by culture, and into the bliss state where we have the freedom to dance like Tom O’Shea.
In addition to the previous mentioned three movements this album also includes a solo piano piece I wrote for my step brother John Harrington.
Thanks for listening…
On the first 3 tracks:
Peter Sprague — guitars
Bridget Dolkas — violin
Lars Hoefs — cello
Duncan Moore — drums and vibes
On "John's View From the Mountain":
Peter Sprague — guitar
Kay Etheridge — piano
Produced by Peter Sprague
Recorded at SpragueLand Studios, Encinitas, CA / 2021
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Peter Sprague at SpragueLand Studios
Cover photo by David Francis
Special thanks to Yuris Zeltins, Andy Powers, D’Addario Strings, and Iron Horse Amps
All songs composed by Peter Sprague
“Rendezvous In Realtime” is commissioned by Chamber Music of America’s 2018 New Jazz Works grant in association with the Doris Duke Foundation.
1) Everything is Music
Typing this note has music in it — the rhythm of the pushed keys, the pitch of the keys being pressed. The door shutting, the harmony of the train horn, the wind rustle through the trees. Everything is music.
The composition begins it’s journey in the world of classical harmony and color. From there it’s all about a bebop violin excursion with a rapid tempo and weaving arpeggios. Then the cello takes over and shares the sweet and low sound of nostalgia. Next an interlude where the vibraphone leads the way to a Brazilian samba groove with the guitar taking the lead. Improvisation leads to a 1990’s era pop figure that gets us back to the samba, and then finally back to the original classical harmony landing spot that reflects where the song first began.
2) Coded By Culture
It’s a dark and mysterious sonic setup that acknowledges that we all have certain behavioral traits that are influenced by the cultureand one’s predisposed DNA strands. Can we navigate through this stuff and live freely in the now? Listen to this song and see if there’s a path through.
3) Dancing Tom O'Shea
Every year at our annual Del Mar Christmas Eve concert you might have noticed this fellow dancing all by himself to our music.
Even if we’re playing bebop this dude dances and has a beautiful sense of freedom to his moves. That’s Tom O’Shea!
Where he really amps it up is dancing to Celtic music and one year we had an Irish reel up our sleeve and it turned into an epic moment with Tom O’Shea gliding through the crowd, showcasing his effortless traditional Celtic Dance form.
I named the third movement after him and as far as I can tell he’s perfected the art of rendezvousing in realtime.
4) John's View From the Mountain
I wrote this tune for my stepbrother John and both he and I dig Chick Corea so there's a little of that in the mix. Kay Etheridge is on piano and is sounding good.